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Fancy being a franchisee or franchising your business? A new report aims to share best practice on franchises that not only offer a sound, tried and tested business, but also a family friendly model and ongoing advice and support.
The Top Franchise Awards Best Practice Report is based on the Workingmums.co.uk Top Franchise Awards. It includes detailed case studies of the winners and some of their franchisees.
The Overall Top Franchise Award was won by ethical cleaning franchise Bright & Beautiful. Its founder Rachel Ray said: “People are the most important thing and business success is linked to looking after your employees well.”
The franchise also scooped the Top Franchise Award for Continuous Improvement and the report details the various processes it has introduced to grow the business while remaining both flexible and ethical.
Other franchises featured are Pink Spaghetti, winner of the Award for Supportive Franchisor. Co-founder Caroline Gowing says her franchise aims is to offer “unlimited support” to franchisees. “Anything they have a query about we will provide additional training on,” she says. Franchisee Michelle Collins describes Caroline as a “Ninja” because she can help with almost anything. “It feels like she is someone who can answer everything. She just breaks it down for you and head office keeps up to date with the fast changes in technology,” she says.
Diddi dance won the Family Friendly Franchise Award and its franchisor Anne-Marie Martin describes how she built it up, including her decision to introduce maternity guidance and provide administrative support to help people keep their business going while they are on maternity leave. “I really understand the challenges they are facing because I’ve been there myself,” says Anne-Marie who has two children. “It’s always fresh in my mind. I always advise franchisees who tell me they are pregnant to plan ahead, to look at increasing their profit margins beforehand and to consider how many teachers they might need to take on board to cover their leave. It’s all about forward planning.”
Cathy Harding, founder of Cook Stars, winner of the Best Newcomer Award, describes how she turned her business idea into a franchise, including the challenges she faced along the way. Asked if she would ever go back to her old world in the banking sector, Cathy says “never”. “I love what I am doing so much it almost doesn’t feel like work,” she says.
Workingmums.co.uk Franchisee of the Year Award winner Claire White of Seriously Fun Swimming Schools tells how she swapped teaching PE at secondary school for life as a franchisee, the challenges she has faced and the satisfaction she gets from running her own business. Some of the 360 children her business now teaches have been with her since the beginning, moving from beginners to more competent swimmers. “It’s great to see their development,” says Claire.
Also included in the report is a Q & A with franchise experts Chris Roberts, director of Franchise Finance; Sean McKeown, franchise development manager of Kumon Educational UK; Louise Young, Brand and Communications Manager at Kumon Educational UK; and Top Franchise Award judges Clive Rich of LawBite, sponsors of the Awards, Yasmina Siadatan, entrepreneur and former winner of the Apprentice and Gillian Nissim, founder of Workingmums.co.uk.
The Q & A covers everything from employing staff, keeping franchisees up to date with technology and legal issues to work life balance.
Gillian Nissim said: “A growing number of women – and especially mums – are foregoing the world of employment and embracing self employment. These women offer franchisors years of experience in business and a determination to make self employment work for them and their families. This report aims to shine a light on those franchises which we believe act as a beacon for others looking to develop flexible business models and to capitalise on this experience.”
Clive Rich, founder and CEO of LawBite, said: “We jumped at the chance to sponsor the Top Franchise Awards. They showcase the kind of innovative and disruptive entrepreneurs that we are dedicated to looking after.”
*Request a copy of The Best Practice Report here.